Review: Tetris 2 (SNES)

By Drew Wilson

In this review, we check out the SNES version of the puzzle game Tetris 2. We find out if this re-interpretation of a NES game worth playing.

This particular version of Tetris 2 was released in 1994 and would tackle the color matching version of tetris 2 that was attempted on the NES which we reviewed earlier. Since our earlier review ranked the NES version of Tetris 2 so poorly, we will see if this version of Tetris 2 is an improvement over the last to make this game playable.

One thing that is immediately apparent is the fact that there is an upgrade to the visual presentation of this game. Between every 5 levels, there are cut scenes. Having seen a number of them, I’ve noticed that they attempt to be slapstick rated G type humor, but I honestly didn’t find the them that funny at all. I think that if they were simple animations of characters doing simple things, it would have been an improvement over the failed attempt at humor.

What is also found in this version is a two player mode. In two player mode, you can pit yourself against a computer player of a difficulty of your choosing, or another human player. While playing, we noticed that the only real kind of garbage that get’s passed to the other player are blocks that drop at a fixed rate of speed. We often encounter difficulties in single player mode where the blocks fall faster then that, so the garbage system really leaves a lot to be desired here.

There is also the fact that there are three different colored gem blocks that can be busted up. You need to bust them up by lining two more colored blocks of the same color in order to get rid of them. Clear out all of the gem blocks to win the round. If you are on a later level, you’ll notice that the three gems along the bottom of the playing field shine a lot more than the others. These will cause all gems of the same color to vanish if you break them up. I would say that this is an improvement over the previous version because, in the previous version, there was no visible difference between the regular and super gems that I could recall.

Another interesting difference is the fact that in if you clear out a non-beginning like level fast enough, you’ll not only obtain bonus points, but you win gems to carry over into the next round. Each gem you earn removes a gem from the playing field before you even begin. These particular removals can open up small paths to the super blocks along the bottom which can be accessed by single falling blocks.

Additionally, there is puzzle mode which only allows you to have a limited number of blocks to try and clear all of the gems from the playing field. I found this mode to be a short lived exercise before I got bored with it to be really honest, but it is nice to know that it is there.

Beyond that, the mechanics of this game are pretty much the same as before.

Graphics, I felt, were this games strongest point. Each mode had it’s own art backdrop and the field being used was creatively utilized. In puzzle mode, it’s a glass mug of root beer. In vs. mode, it’s a fish tank. The backdrops themselves were somewhat creatively used in single player mode with the picture in the corner revealing bonus points and blocks and the refrigerator and cabinet revealing scores and other information between rounds. I can respect the fact that there was a attempt to add a cartoon and personable element to it with the characters, but unfortunately, the writing behind these characters just wasn’t that strong at all. So, it’s a bit disappointing in that respect.

The audio was a bit of a miss. You get a small selection of music, but it quickly got repetitive after a while. I get that there is only so many sound effects you can put into a Tetris game, but I felt that extra sound effects could have been inserted for special events that happen such as busting up those super gems or watching multiple gems get removed. To make matters worse, those same sound effects were frequently recycled in the cut scenes. So, this game was a bit of a miss in this department.

Overall, this game does make minor improvements to make the older version better. Unfortunately, it’s almost the same boring game that I played on the NES in terms of mechanics. The cut scenes could have added some flavor to this game, but unfortunately, the writing was so weak, it made the cut scenes nothing more then a bad attempt at humor. It almost punishes the gamer for completing 5 rounds. While the art showed some signs of creativity, it did get repetitive in single player mode because it required you to complete 30 levels before you finally got something new. Way too many levels in my books. If you lose momentum and stop gaining bonuses, this game quickly becomes much more difficult in somewhat random ways. So, at the end of the day, a few little tweaks can make a bad game good, but the tweaks in this game failed to make this game a good play. Yes, there were improvements, but it wasn’t enough. This game is best left in the past.

Overall

Furthest point in game: Completed up to round 31 in single player mode. Messed around with puzzle mode and faced off against the computer player for a little bit, but didn’t dive to deeply into either mode once I had a good idea of what it was about.

General gameplay: 9/25
Replay value: 2/10
Graphics: 5/10
Audio: 1/5

Overall rating: 34%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85



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